We are always advised to wear a sunscreen to protect our skin against the harmful effects of the sun's UV rays, but is it really necessary? Just how harmful are these UV rays anyway?
The sun is approximately 4.6 billion years and its distance to earth a staggering 149.6 million kilometres.
The ozone layer filters out most of the potentially harmful UV rays. Ozone measurements fluctuate from day to day, season to season and from one year to the next.
An alarming fact is that severe depletion has been detected over the Antarctic since 1979. Severe ozone depletion has also been measured over the Arctic.
Ozone depletion affects almost the entire North America, Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and a large part of South America.
The ozone hole over the Antarctic measured an alarming 28.3 million square kilometres in the spring of 2000. As the ozone becomes more depleted, more harmful UV rays will reach earth.
Exposure to these higher amounts of UV radiation can pose a serious impact on animals, plants and humans.
How Do These UV Rays Affect Us?
There are three types of rays, UVA, UVB and UVC rays.
UVA rays are long rays and UVB rays are shorter than UVA rays but longer than UVC rays. UVA and UVB rays cause wrinkles, melanoma, sunburn, cataracts and may interfere with the immune system and cause skin cancer.
Most UVC rays are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach earth.
The Impact of a Depleted Ozone Layer May Result In The Following:
- Increase in skin cancers and sunburn.
- Increase in eye diseases such as cataracts and blindness.
- A compromised immune system.
Do I really Need SPF?
Myth has it that the sun is only damaging during the summer months. Scientists found that ozone depletion in Canada is usually greatest in late winter and early spring.
UV rays can reach us through glass and while we are having fun on those ski slopes.
You should also wear SPF when flying as the sun reaches you through the windows of the plane, the higher the altitude, the more severe the UV rays are.
Bottom line, you need protection all year long. It should form part of your daily skincare routine.
Tips To Protect Your Skin
- Use a broad spectrum or full spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 as it will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. Apply regularly.
- Apply SPF underneath your foundation.
- Apply to your neck and ears, and all other areas exposed to the sun.
- Use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 to keep your lips protected and hydrated.
- Stay away from tanning beds.
- Wear good quality sunglasses with a UV coating on the lenses.
- Wear a wide brimmed hat.
As long as you follow these tips, you will be able to protect your skin, decreasing your risk of not only skin cancer, but the effects of aging too, leaving your skin radiant and youthful!
Did you know?
Our Smooth Skin Exfoliant, is rich in Pomegranate, which is high in polyphenols and powerful antioxidants. Its extract can increase the SPF of topical sunscreens by 25 percent.